Kick Off the NFL Season: Favorite Football Foods

Kick Off the NFL Season: Favorite Football Foods

Football season is upon us! Kick it off right with some great finger foods for your viewing parties. This week, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Sarah Buchanan (not to be confused with my other friend Sarah, who you got to hang out with a couple weeks ago!).  Sarah  is a native North Carolinian turned Southern Californian with a serious cookbook addiction. She blogs about her attempts to work through her massive cookbook collection at  Sarah Cooks the Books, where she is determined to utilize every cookbook she owns (and there are many – I’ve seen ’em!) at least once.  So, Sarah, what kind of football food should I be making this season?

Kick Off the NFL Season: Favorite Finger Foods

by Sarah Buchanan

I’m originally from North Carolina and the beginning of football season is a big deal there. College football is the source of most of the insanity (NC State, UNC, or Duke. Your choice says everything about you.), but there’s some pretty serious love for the beginning of NFL season, too.

Basically, in North Carolina, football season was a thing to be revered. I haven’t lived in my new town for very long, but I’m going to guess that with the start of NFL season, there are football parties to be had here as well.

And the benchmark of any great football party? Great football food!

This salsa recipe isn’t the usual chunky kind you’ll often find. It’s more of a restaurant-style salsa, excellent with tortilla chips and, really, anything you usually dunk in salsa (veggie chips, baked pita chips, spoons, etc.) This was really popular at the last party I brought it to, and if you’re making apps for a large crowd, I would suggest doubling the recipe. It’s really easy to make, and one of the better salsas I’ve had. It’s the perfect football food!

The second recipe I’ll share and would recommend for any potluck is a popcorn and peanut bark. It only has three ingredients, so it’s so easy to make. A lot of food brought to football parties is of the salty variety, so these are a little bit of sweetness for the sweet-toothed among us.

So what are your favorite teams? Who do you think will go all the way this year? (Go Panthers!) And, most importantly, what is your favorite football food?

Easy Restaurant-style Salsa 

Serves 12-ishFootball Food

  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 whole jalapeno, diced (remove seeds and membrane before dicing if you don’t like things super hot)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 28-oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes with juice discarded
  • 2 10-oz. cans Rotel (any variety)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ small lime

Combine all ingredients in a large food processor.  Depending both on how large your food processor is and how much salsa you’re making, you may need to divide the ingredients up in several batches, then mix the batches together.
Pulse the salsa until it reaches the consistency you like and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Football Food

 Popcorn and Peanut Bark

Makes 1 pound of bark

  • 14 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 3 cups freshly popped popcorn (If you use microwave popcorn, make sure it’s unsalted and unbuttered. This is best if you pop the popcorn on the stove or use an air popper.)
  • ½ cup salted peanuts
  • A pinch of salt
  • Butter, coconut oil, or olive oil for the cookie sheetFootball Food

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray or drizzle with butter/coconut oil/olive oil to prevent sticking. (You can also just use a nonstick liner.)

Melt the chocolate by either using a double-boiler, the microwave (microwave for 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each 15 seconds), or over very low heat on the stove. My preferred method is melting it straight on the stove, but your mileage may vary. If you use this method, pay very close attention and use very low heat to avoid burning.

Add the popcorn and peanuts to the chocolate and fold the mixture until everything is evenly coated.

Scrape the mixture onto the cookie sheet and spread into a thin layer. Sprinkle salt over the top as desired.

Put the cookie sheet into the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so, or until the bark is firm. Break the bark into clusters.

Football Food

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